31 May 2013

You learn something new every day!

Never was a truer phrase uttered. Despite having been at Hill Top for several years now, there's always something new to discover.

For example, I knew that Beatrix used the landscape and her surroundings as inspiration for her stories, but this week at Hill Top I discovered where Beatrix got Aunt Pettitoes' name from. You, of course, may already know this, but if you don't it might be of interest. I was talking to a visitor in Hill Top kitchen and using the 1911 edition of 'Mrs. Beeton's Cookery Book'. On page 161 I came across a recipe for 'Pig's Pettitoes, stewed'. It seems that 'pettitoes' was the word used in recipes for 'sucking-pigs feet'. So there you go - but I have to say it didn't sound like a very appetising dish at all.
(You'll find Aunt Pettitoes in 'The Tale of Pigling Bland' which celebrates it's centenary this year.)

Another thing I learned this week was the name of one of my favourite large shrubs in Hill Top garden. Every year I admire it's delicate bell shaped flowers and every year I promise myself I'll find out what it is.

Enkianthus Campanulatus alias Redvein enkianthus
 So this year, Pete the Gardener told me that its an Enkianthus Campanulatus - common
name Redvein enkianthus. It's a large, very hardy shrub which can grow to 2.5 - 4 metres over a 20 - 50 year period. It really is lovely and you'll find ours half way up Hill Top path on the right hand side.

Pete the Gardener - a hardy perennial if ever there was one!

Speaking of Pete the Gardener, (you'll find his fab blogs on this site) we're celebrating his 25years service with the National Trust this week. 'But he doesn't look old enough' I hear you say! So it's off to the Tower Bank Arms pub we go to celebrate with him!

Don't forget to come and see us at either The Beatrix Potter Gallery at Hawkshead or Hill Top in Near Sawrey. We're now operating on our full summer
Gallery - daily 10.30am - 5pm
Hill Top - Sat - Thurs 10am - 5pm
Wray Castle daily 10am - 5pm